It was World Book Day on the 3rd March and I have a secret to tell you. Probably one of the only good things about schools being closed is that I didn’t have to scratch around at 10pm on the 2nd March to make two dressing up outfits for my primary school aged children. I know, I’m such a party pooper.
However, I love the idea of World Book Day – a fun celebration of reading and all its joys. For my family, it didn’t take much extra encouragement to pick up a book this year – we’ve been reading avidly since Hitchin library reopened for the collection of ‘Ready Reads’ which have saved us in the most recent lockdown. Every Saturday we’d traipse down in the minus figures weather and pick up 12 books per child – a combination of fiction and non-fiction and then the kids plop themselves on the sofa for the rest of the day like there’s a book emergency and they need to all be read by bedtime. It’s lovely to see, and we’ve had some interesting books that we probably wouldn’t have chosen ourselves.
I can’t put my finger on why it gives me such pleasure watching children read. It’s not just because they’re not on a screen. It’s excitement for them that they are immersed and experiencing something different from a sofa in Hitchin. And a part of me remembers so vividly the adventures I read about when I was their age, not just the classics from Roald Dahl but Point Horror, Point Romance, Nancy Drew… does anyone else remember them? Not literary in any way but really good fun.
Lockdown has been good for my reading as well. With my wild social life on pause there’s been longer evenings to cosy up. I’ve a friend with similar tastes and so every now and again there’s a parcel on my doorstep with the latest swops – a treat not only because I didn’t have to decide what to read next but also a little act of friendship and thoughtfulness. It's not been all hygge though, I sneak in a couple of pages while I'm stirring porridge in the morning, or while the kids play at the park (cue Very Cold Hands).
Your 'thing' might not be reading, but just take a second to think about whether you have an activity you can do that lets you rest or takes you out of yourself a bit.
If you’re keen to get back into reading again my recommendation would be to set a little challenge for yourself – 5 pages a day. You’ll be able to do that in about 5 minutes, probably less. So within 6 weeks or so you’ll have finished the book and I bet you’ll get the bug.
Let me know what you’ve been reading and why you love it.
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